In the new movie Promised Land, Matt Damon plays an energy worker in rural Pennsylvania who has a crisis of conscience about the environmental risks of the drilling method known as fracking. But the reality is much more promising than Promised Land suggests. If regulated effectively, fracking can contribute enormously to U.S. growth and energy independence while combating climate change.
Thanks to America's vast, unexpected new natural-gas supplies, the nation faces a once-in-a-lifetime choice. Not since 1911, when Winston Churchill, then Britain's first lord of the Admiralty, decided to convert the Royal Navy from coal to oil power has a nation seen such an opportunity to choose a new "master resource"...
Recent reports from Standard & Poor's and ITG Investment Research show the amount of recoverable gas in the Marcellus Shale play may be much greater than any previous government estimate. This is good news. Real American energy security and a real force in American job growth are available to us right now -- if we continue to make the right decisions to obtain and use what we have right here.
Scott Roberts, Johnstown-based Consultant and former Deputy Secretary for Mineral Resources with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection comments on the importance of pundits focusing on the facts about natural gas production, given the geological, technological, social and economic forces at work that have driven people to establish rigid and vocal positions.
Natural gas is heating and powering millions of homes, and driving America on the road towards energy security. Two technologies - horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing - are making this possible.
There has been plenty of talk lately about how the Marcellus Shale, and natural-gas production in the U.S. in general, is boosting the U.S. economy and creating jobs. What is being overlooked, however, is the secondary - and perhaps longer-lasting - impact of natural-gas production in Pennsylvania: the potential for a substantial increase in base manufacturing and port activity in the Philadelphia region.
With so much at stake, now is the time for fact-based discussions that will lead to safe and realistic solutions. It is time to raise EPA's level of accountability by sticking to the science and rising above the politics. Working together, we can succeed in safely developing our nation's abundant resources for current needs and for future generations.
"Don't let someone form your opinion, form your own." -- the opinions one Towanda citizen formed after conducting his own research about development of the Marcellus Shale.
Electricity, heating.....what should we use?
When Gov. Tom Corbett signed Act 13 into law on Feb. 14, it marked the culmination of three years of work by the Legislature in crafting a comprehensive Marcellus Shale legislative package. The final legislation contained strong environmental safeguards, a mechanism for fair and predictable municipal regulation of the industry, and a robust, yet competitive, impact fee.